Pac-10 underrated, also, sky is blue

August 20, 2007

pac-10-usa-states.pngOccasionally, ESPN does some good stuff like real analysis.

Mark Schlabach did some research analyzing the most overrated and underrated teams of the 10 years. He looked at teams preseason rankings in the major polls and where they ended up in the final polls.

Not surprisingly, the Pac-10 was by far the most underrated major conference, not even close to the marks the next conference got.

This just reinforces my belief that the voters of the major polls have anti-West Coast biases. They watch the SEC, the Big Ten, the Big 12, Notre Dame, and the best teams of the ACC and Big East. But not the Pac-10, especially outside of USC.

USC is clearly the most dominant team in the Pac-10, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only team out here. Oregon and Washington State were both among the top-three most underrated teams (Boise State, another western team, was the other).

Unfortunately, these preseason polls do matter. The coaches’ poll and the Harris poll are a part of the BCS formula, and teams ranked low or not ranked at all will have difficulty leapfrogging teams that are ranked if they have similar won-loss records.

This is why we need to get rid of the polls. Ideally, we’d get a playoff system. But until that happens, at least the computer rankings are unbiased. Some may have their flaws, but they don’t just watch the SEC and ignore the Pac-10.

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